Indian Mint Tea or Pudina Chai is very  refreshing and flavorful that can wake your taste buds up in the morning or any time of the day.The mint Tea  has lots of benefits. The mint tea is a hot cup of herbal tea can help loosen congestion and relieve coughing associated with colds and allergies. Mint tea relieves sore throats.Mint is a calming and soothing herb that has been used to aid with upset stomach or indigestion.

Serves~ 2 cups

Ingredients :-


1 cup -Milk
1 1/2 cup - Water
2 tsps tea powder
sugar or stevia per your taste
About 16  or 2 tbsp Fresh mint leaves /Pudina

Method:-

 1)   Wash the mint leaves in water thoroughly. In a tea pan or in a vessel, add water. Add the mint leaves.


2)    Boil the water for 4 minutes till  the water will start becoming green. Let it become green color in colour.


 3)  Add sugar or  your choice of healthy sweetener ,tea powder  or tea leaves and let  it boil for 1 minute.


4)    Now add milk  and  let it come to boil for 4-5 minutes in the low  flame.


  5)   Turn off the flame and strain into the cup.


 6)   Hot and delicious Pudina Chai  or Mint Tea is ready .

 

    Serve the mint tea with biscuits or cookies or savories.
    You could also have this mint tea after lunch or dinner as it aids in digestion.

Note:- 



  1)   If using tea bags, then put off the burner. In the hot water, dip the tea bags for 2-3 mins. Add sugar and hot milk. Stir and serve.
 2)   I have not mentioned the quantity of sugar as some people prefer less sugar and some prefer more sugar in their tea.
 3)   Adding Milk or not is entirely your option. If you add milk, it will become an Indian Chai.
 4)  I like Pudina Chai /Mint tea with milk and without milk very much.



Onion Pakoras or Onion fritters  are a very popular snacks which can be prepared in just 10 minutes.  Whether you want to entertain  sudden guests or just enjoy the pleasant rainy evening or cold wintery days, crispy and spicy onion pakoras are one.It is also a very famous street food.It is a very popular tea time snack and tastes great with green chutney or ketchup or as it is.

Ingredients:-

2 cups gram flour or besan, sifted to remove lumps
1 tbsp rice flour
2-3 Onions
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp ajwain /carom seeds
Salt as required
Hing - a pinch   
1/2 tsp baking soda   
Water to make batter    
Oil for deep frying

Method:-

1) Peel  and  slice the onions thinly.

Sliced Onions
2) Take a bowl and add gram flour,rice flour,turmeric powder,red chillipowder,salt,ajwain and hing . Mix them well.

3) Then add sliced onions in it.
4) Add water and mix it to a thick and smooth consistency batter.Add little water in the beginning as the onions will release water later and so the batter becomes too watery.Beat it well. The trapped air  will make them light and fluffy.
5) Add the baking soda and mix well.


6) Heat at least one inch of oil in a deep frying pan on a medium heat  .
7) Drop dollops of the batter into the hot oil, either with a dessert spoon or with your fingers.


 8) Do this gently, from the side of the pan, to stop the oil from splashing on to your hands and face. 9) Deep fry pakoras in oil.Fry the pakoras in small batches . Fry the pakoras, turning occasionally, until both sides are golden brown.


10) When they are golden brown, take them out with a laddle on an absorbent paper  or tissue paper to absorb excess oil.


11) Serve  Tasty Onion Pakoras with Tomato sauce or mint chutney or tamarind chutney or with garam garam cahi.




Tips :-

Rice flour adds crispiness to pakoras.
If the oil is too hot the pakoras will not be crisp; if the oil is not hot enough, the pakoras will be oily.


Palak mushroom  curry is nutritious, rich in vitamins, minerals and iron, healthy and low on calories  .This is delicious and Mouth-watering curry !!!

Serves: 3-4
Cusine : North Indian

Ingredients:-

For spinach puree:

   Spinach / palak (chopped) - 3 cups
  Green chillies (chopped) -3
   Ginger (chopped) - ½ inch
    Garlic ( chopped ) - 5 cloves

Other ingredients:
    White button mushrooms - 200 gms
    Tomato (Medium sized )  - 2 (pureed)
    Onion (Medium sized ) - 1 paste
    Cinnamon - 1 inch
    Green cardamom - 2
    Cloves -2
    Bay leaf - 1
    Oil  -  2 tbsp
    Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
    Red chili powder -½ tsp
    Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
    Coriander  powder - 1/2 tsp
    Water - 2 cups
    Wheat flour(Atta) or  chickpea flour (besan)- ½ tbsp

Palak Mushroom Curry


Method:- 

1) Clean and wash the spinach.
2) Take a pan and heat with 1 tsp oil.
3) Add  chopped garlic and green chilies and chopped spinach Sauté till the leaves are wilted.
4) Then switch off the stove.Leave it to cool for 5 mins.
5) After 5 mins grind spinach  ,garlic ,chopped ginger and Green chilies to a fine paste in a mixer or blender.
6) Now take a pan and heat with 1 tsp of  oil /ghee /Butter.


7)Add the  whole spices cardamom ,bay leaf,cloves ,cinnamon
8) Then add onion paste and fry till golden colour.


9) Then add  tomatoes puree and fry for 1-2 minutes.
10) Add turmeric powder, garam masala powder ,coriander powder,red chili powder  and stir.


11) Then add the mushrooms and fry till they shrink in size and the oil starts to leave the sides of the mixture.


12) Add the spinach /palak puree and stir for 2-3 minutes.Add water and salt and simmer.
13) After 2-3 minutes, add wheat flour or gram flour  (besan) for thickening the curry. Stir well.
14) Cook the palak mushroom till the gravy thickens a bit.


15) Serve palak mushroom hot with roti, naan or  flavored rice.



Mix Vegetable Pakoras with a cup of garam garam chai is very comforting food on rainy day or in a pleasant winter evening.  It also makes a great party  food. Several healthy vegetables incorporated with the mixture of gram flour ,carom seeds and few spices  pep up the flavor of irresistible  vegetable pakoras.

Ingredients:-

Chickpea flour  /Besan -1  1/2cup
Rice flour - 3tbsps
Potatoes - 2  (medium sized) thinly sliced
Onions - 2 ( medium sized) sliced
Carrots-  1 (sliced)
Brinjals /Eggplants - 2 (sliced)
Green chillies -3 (sliced)
Spinach Leaves-  1/2 cup (chopped)
Coriander  Leaves - finely chopped
Paneer - 1/4 cup (optional) sliced
Coriander powder  -1 tbsp
Fennel seeds  powder - ½ tbsp
Carom seeds (Ajwain) - 1 tsp
Kasoori Methi /Dry fenugreek Leaves- 1 tsp
Hing - a pinch
Baking Soda  - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1  1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for deep-frying
Water for batter ( 1/2 -3/4 cup)



Method:-
1) First wash , and slice all the vegetables.


2) Grind the fennel seeds in a mixer.
3) Sift Chick pea  flour /Besan ,rice flour in a bowl.
4) Add coriander seeds powder,fennel seeds powder,turmeric powder, red chilli powder,Hing,salt ,ajwain (carom seeds) ,kasoori methi ,1 tsp of oil  and mix well.



5) Then add  sliced vegetables ,chopped coriander and spinach leaves and mix well. 



6) Gradually add water and mix with your hands.
7) Make lump free mixture. The batter should not be watery it should  form a smooth  paste.
8) Add the baking soda and mix well.



9) Heat at least one inch of oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.
10) Deep fry pakoras in oil.Fry the pakoras in small batches, three to four minutes per batch. Fry the pakoras, turning occasionally, until both sides are golden brown.


 



11) When they are gloden brown, take them out with a laddle on an absorbent paper  or tissue paper to absorb excess oil.

 

Serve  Tasty vegetable Pakoras with Tomato sauce or mint chutney or tamarind chutney.



Tips :-

Rice flour adds crispiness to pakoras.
If the oil is too hot the pakoras will not be crisp; if the oil is not hot enough, the pakoras will be oily.

Variations

You can use almost any vegetable when making these pakoras, such as cauliflower, beans,cabbage, bell pepper, plantain and different kinds of chillies also.




Gutti Vankaya is a famous Andra recipe .Vankaya Nuvvula masala, is a classic Andhra cuisine  that is prepared on  special occasions and even goes well as a party dish.  What sums up the essence of this dish is the creamy sesame sauce and velvety Vankayas.One bit of it and your in heaven :)

Prep & Cooking: 1 hour
Serves: 8
Cuisine: Andhra


 Ingredients:-

Purple Brinjals /Eggplants/Baingan /Vankaya - 1/2 kg
Onions - 2 large
Green chilies - 6
Khus khus/gasagasalu/white poppy seeds (dry roast ) - 2 tbsps
Nuvvulu/til/white sesame seeds, (dry roast )- 4 tbsps
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsps
Coriander powder  - 2 tsps
Turmeric powder  - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 4 tbsps
Dry Red Chilli - 1
few fresh curry leaves



Method:-

1)  Wash and Slit the brinjals  into  plus shape .Brinjals should be whole that is stalks should be intact  i.e. do not cut fully.Place them in salted water  to avoid discoloration.




 2) Lightly  dry roast  the Khus Khus and sesame seeds  separately for 3 mins and keep it aside.

Poppy seeds /Khus Khus     Seasame seeds /Til /Nuvullu
3) Add 2 tbsps of oil in a pan, add the  slit brinjals and roast them till brown, approx 9-10 mins.Remove and keep  it aside.


4) In the same pan, add the green chilies and  chopped onions and saute for 5 mins on low  flame. Cool it . Grind the onions and green chilies to a fine paste.


5) Grind the lightly roasted khus khus and sesame seeds to a fine paste, adding little water.


6) Add the remaining oil in the pan, add cumin seeds and as they splutter add the  dry red chilli and curry leaves  and saute for a min.


7) Then add the onion paste and  Saute for 3 mins.
8) Add ginger garlic paste and saute for another 2 mins.
9)  Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt.Then  Add the khus khus and sesame paste and cook for 3 more mins.


10) Mix well and  add 2 cups water and bring it to boil.


11)  Reduce the flame and add the roasted brinjals and allow to simmer for 10 -15 mins or until the gravy thickens.  Stir them once in a while without breaking the brinjals. After gravy thickens turn off  the heat.


12) Serve hot Vankaya Nuvvulu Masala or brinjals in sesame sauce curry  with  rice ,flavored rice ,rotis ,chapatis .

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